Tony Sly, one of the great front men on the Bay Area punk rock scene for more than two decades, has died at age 41.
The vocalist-guitarist, who died July 31 from still undisclosed causes, will be best remembered for leading the pop-punk band No Use for a Name, one of the most popular acts to come out of the South Bay. The San Jose resident also worked as a solo artist and on other musical endeavors, including collaborations with Joey Cape of Lagwagon.
The news of Sly's death was made public through Fat Wreck Chords, the San Francisco punk-rock label that has handled the No Use for a Name catalog since the early '90s.
"It is with great sorrow that we must say goodbye to Tony Sly of No Use for a Name," a statement posted on the label's website on Aug. 1 said. "We received a call earlier today of his passing, and are devastated. We have lost an incredible talent, friend, and father -- one of the true greats."
Label chief Fat Mike, also the vocalist-bassist for the punk act NOFX, added to the posting, "One of my dearest friends and favorite songwriters has gone way too soon. Tony, you will be greatly missed."
Others echoed similar sentiments.
"It's hard to imagine my musical life without Tony and No Use for a Name," says Live 105 DJ No Name. "Tony's voice provided the soundtrack to so many good times. No Use was one of those core bands that were always around from my days in college radio at KSCU till now at Live 105."
"Tony was one of the most genuine straight-up dudes around," says No Name.
"I didn't know him really well but we always looked forward to No Use for a Name shows, and he was a good guy, easy to work with," says Corey O'Brien, owner of San Jose's Blank Club. "Everyone here at the Blank Club is gutted."
Sly was only 18 when he joined No Use for a Name, replacing original vocalist John Meyer in 1989 -- just two years after the band got its start. He'd help guide the band through its full-length debut, 1991's "Incognito," which was produced by Bad Religion's Brett Gurewitz and released on San Francisco's New Red Archives label.
The group made the switch to Fat Wreck Chords for its third album, 1993's "The Daily Grind," a modestly successful commercial outing that also drew a fair amount of critical acclaim. The group's breakthrough effort was 1995's "Leche Con Carne," which featured the popular song "Soulmate" -- reportedly the first Fat Wreck Chords single to get played on MTV.
No Use for a Name's most recent studio outing -- and its ninth overall -- was 2008's "The Feel Good Record of the Year." The band had been reportedly working on a new album in recent years. Sly also released the solo album "Sad Bear" in 2011.
Sly's last performance with No Use for a Name was in June in Montebello, Quebec, Canada. His last solo gig was in Gainesville, Florida on July 29 -- just two days before he died.
It's unknown whether No Use for a Name will attempt to continue on without Sly.
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